The Director of the Centre for Asian Studies at the University of Ghana, Dr. Lloyd Amoah has urged government to treat its relationship with China with utmost tact, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
So far over 37,198 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed globally, with over 900 deaths, a situation that has led to calls for the evacuation of Ghanaian students in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
But Dr. Lloyd Amoah said plans of evacuation must be handled in a manner that does not jeopardize the strong relationship between Ghana and China.
“We should not forget that China and Ghana have very close relationships and we should be mindful of that. We should not create the impression of some kind of abandonment. You know that in Africa, when the Ebola broke out, the Chinese were with us. They brought in personnel and dealt with the crisis at the risk of the lives of their citizens. So we need to keep all this in perspective. If the disease passes, how do you want the Chinese to relate with you? Was it a panic reaction or was it was done in bad faith? We need to play this intelligently so that we look at the future with China in a proper way,” he said.
Since the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus, many stakeholders, especially in the education sector, have called for the evacuation of Ghanaian students from China.
The China chapter of National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) on February 3, 2020 called on Government to within the next 48 to 72 hours evacuate all Ghanaian students in China to avoid any possible contraction of the contagious coronavirus.
Reopening dates for most universities in China were postponed indefinitely following the outbreak of the virus, leaving international students stranded.
Vice-President of NUGS-Wuhan, Micheal Akne, in a video said the situation in Wuhan is such that life is becoming difficult for them.
“The situation in Wuhan is that it’s been 11 days now since the lock-down, so as usual our students and members are indoors. Their movement in the city is restricted which means they don’t have access to basic facilities like going to the mall to buy groceries from the market and also there is general fear and panic because the infection rate is increasing so everybody doesn’t want to go out. We are all scared and in our rooms.”
As at 9th February, 2020, the current coronavirus death toll had surpassed the toll from the SARS epidemic of 2002-3, according to official data released on Sunday. The number of confirmed infections rose to 37,198, according to China’s National Health Commission.